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Passion Flowers

Ember burns bright for anyone with mental health concerns seeking work.

As we emerged from lockdown into a post COVID 19 world with its new normal and its new anxieties, a key focus for New Zealand was on the economy – especially employment. “Our number one priority is jobs. That means doing all we can to support people staying in their current job or moving to a new job if needed.” – PM Jacinda Ardern.

Timely indeed that Ember Korowai Takitini introduced its new supported employment service specifically designed for those who suffer with mental health concerns to find and retain meaningful and sustainable employment. In 2020 we merged Edge Employment with Work Focus to create Ember Employment to support more employment opportunities, for more people with more employers in more places than ever before.

Ember Employment by the numbers

12,416 Individual contacts
8,728 Client contact hours

Passion Flowers

Lorraine has been a client of Ember Employment for over 2 years. She worked as a nurse in her early career years but medication for her depression stopped her doing the job. Over the years she has had various jobs, but she struggled to stay in them for any great length of time. Throughout her battle with depression her goal has always been to find a career she was passionate about. Initially Lorraine completed a patisserie course and secured an internship opportunity at a hotel. However, she was told that she was not fast enough for a kitchen environment. Lorraine also felt frustrated working in such a fast-paced environment. She chose to leave this field and kept searching to find her real passion.

Her Ember Employment Consultant supported Lorraine by encouraging her to explore what her hobbies are and see whether it was possible to start from there. Lorraine said that she has over 60 potted plants which she really enjoys looking after. However, she had no experience working in horticulture. Her Employment Consultant supported her to look at volunteer experience at a garden centre and relevant courses.

Lorraine managed to find a volunteer job in horticulture and enrolled for a one year on-line course with the Open Polytech. She enjoyed the course and passed all the papers. Lorraine relocated to a more remote area where there were more opportunities for a horticultural job. With her Employment Consultant’s encouragement and Lorraine’s willingness to find a job, they went and did some cold calling and dropped her CV to potential employers. She heard back from one of them, was invited for an interview, and was offered a full-time job at a local nursery centre. Finally, she has found the job she was passionate about.